April 27, 2018// Boston, MA – Richard Ferlauto, co-founder of the 50/50 Climate Project and a former Deputy Director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has been posthumously awarded the prestigious Joan Bavaria Award for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. The announcement was made Wednesday, April 25th, at the Ceres Conference 2018 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston.
The award is given annually by the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres and the Boston-based investment firm Trillium Asset Management to honor inspiring global leaders working to move capital markets toward a system that balances economic prosperity with social and environmental issues.
This year, the award is recognizing Ferlauto’s enduring legacy in promoting social and environmental reform in the capital markets.
“For more than four decades, Richard Ferlauto was a pioneer in reforming corporate behavior in pursuit of economic, environmental and social justice,” said Ceres CEO and President Mindy Lubber. “His tireless commitment towards accountable capitalism will continue to have a profound impact among investor and business communities, and will continue to inspire us all to carry on his vision.”
“Richard’s visionary leadership and contributions to shaping investor’s understanding of corporate governance and shareholder rights have been instrumental to the field of sustainable and responsible investing,” said Matthew Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management. “As a change maker and impassioned advocate, his accomplishments represent the very essence of Joan Bavaria’s legacy.”
The groups selected Ferlauto for his relentless, career-spanning leadership in advocating for corporate governance, responsible investment and shareholder rights. He was an early advocate for “Say on Pay”, whereby a firm’s shareholders have the right to vote on executive compensation packages, as well as for investors’ rights to Proxy Access to further transform corporate board accountability. Ferlauto also served as a member of the Ceres Board of Directors from 2004 until 2010 and went on to become Deputy Director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Office of Investor Education and Advocacy from 2010 through 2014. Later in his career, Ferlauto co-founded the 50/50 Climate Project, a nonprofit resource and action center helping institutional investors bring climate competence to corporate boards.
“Rich’s career is an example for others to emulate,” said Anne Stausboll, former CEO of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, and Ceres board member for over ten years. “He had a powerful vision and understood the synergies of working together in order to put that vision in motion. Through his leadership, we saw groundbreaking accomplishments in raising the visibility of environmental, social, and governance issues in the financial markets.”
Director Magazine recognized Ferlauto as one of the most influential people in corporate governance from 2006 through 2010. Under his leadership, 50/50 Climate Project helped spur remarkable successes in the corporate governance space, with unprecedented majority votes on shareholder proposals, productive negotiations with corporate executives and board members, and the publication of a series of significant research papers.
Ferlauto passed away in May 2017. His wife, Hillary Horn, accepted the Bavaria Award in his honor.
“Throughout his life, Rich was a champion for economic justice,” said Hillary Horn, Ferlauto’s wife. “He fought relentlessly to use shareholder power for social change. He believed that this work would be successful and his passion has inspired others to carry it on.”
Ferlauto’s friends and colleagues remember him as a visionary who constantly worked to make the world fairer, more sustainable and more inclusive. He is survived by his wife Hillary and his two children Max and Lucia.
The Joan Bavaria award was established in 2008 in memory of Joan Bavaria, a pioneer of social investing who founded Ceres and Trillium Asset Management. Past winners include: Heike Reichelt, head of investor relations and new products at The World Bank; Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Geeta Aiyer, Founder and President of Boston Common Asset Management; Sister Patricia Daly, OP, executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment; Tessa Tennant, President and co-founder of The Ice Organisation; and William Foote, founder and CEO of Root Capital.
About Trillium Asset Management
Trillium Asset Management is the oldest independent investment advisor devoted exclusively to sustainable and responsible investing. With over $2.6 billion in assets under management, Trillium has been managing equity and fixed income investments for high net worth individuals, foundations, endowments, religious institutions, and other nonprofits since 1982. A leader in shareholder advocacy and public policy work, Trillium’s goal is to deliver both impact and performance to its investors.
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization leading the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.